Little Italy Stories

San Diego's best Christmas and NYE events

Executive chef Pascal Vignau offers breakfast items such as cinnamon French toast and thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, plus a chilled seafood display with Alaskan snow crab claws, tuna sashimi, and smoked salmon. This event brings ...

Black hole development in Little Italy

Former Reader building slated for demo

One block of West Date Street, between Columbia and India, was permanently closed to car traffic on December 1st for the groundbreaking of Piazza Famiglia, a European-style pedestrian plaza projected "to become the new 'heart' ...

Sudsy holiday shopping respites

Sudsy holiday shopping respites

December 3 | Sour Mania: Any chance to select from a bevy of tart blondes, Flemish reds, and the like merits the “God bless us, everyone” tagline, but offer that opportunity on a weeknight and ...

Rediscovering the endangered five-dollar sandwich

Grabbing and going through Little Italy.

I've driven by Grab & Go Subs I don't know how many times over the years, driving down Hawthorne into Little Italy, or on my way to the airport. I never once stopped prior to ...

Bring it back to business basics

98 Bottles lacks focus on food, service, and ambiance.

98 Bottles is more than a neighborhood bar. According to the signage it’s a one-stop shop offering “craft beer, fun wine, good eats, entertainment, and a retail bottle shop.” I’ve never considered wine amusing, but ...

Richly concentrated

Third-wave neighborhood spots set to break over the next month.

Several established local roasters have been building out new storefronts this month, giving third-wave coffee drinkers plenty of new neighborhood options going into November. Dark Horse Coffee Roasters is just about set to open a ...

7 for 7 plus Pappy

Starlite celebrates 7 years with 7 days of giving back

It’s no secret that Starlite is one of my major haunts — this remote, hip and chill restaurant in the middle of an industrial strip of India Street is home to my favorite burger, and ...

I never wear the same thing twice

What they wore in Little Italy.

In Little Italy, Lien Nguyen held her fluffy Maltipoo, Kali, close as she made her way through the crowded Saturday morning Mercato on Cedar Street. Nguyen was on her way to brunch with her husband. ...

Taste the bean, not the roast

While a handful of roasters have been at it for years — La Jolla–based Pannikin has been cooking beans since 1968 — most of San Diego’s developing artisanal coffee movement has been spurred by newcomers. ...

It’ll probably involve offal

When I think of my ideal food day in San Diego, it doesn’t involve heavy white linens, maître d’s, or putting on a suit and tie. Maximum dining enjoyment in my laidback hometown comes from ...

Top vittles from a top chef

Little Italy eatery lives up to the hype

Even before its opening, Juniper And Ivy was one of the biggest news stories in the San Diego food scene. Having a winner of Top Chef Masters like Richard Blais as your main chef will ...

Diving into Ironside Fish and Oyster Bar

Exploring the depths of Little Italy's hottest new scene

If you’re looking for somewhere to see and be seen these days, Ironside Fish and Oyster Bar is a sure bet. On my most recent visit, among the endless faces in the bustle I recognized ...

Zappa fest in Little Italy

“As teenagers, Frank Zappa and Lou Curtiss, owner of Folk Arts Rare Records, would scour local bargain bins for eclectic albums that would define their unique musical perspectives,” says Tom Cesarini, executive director at the ...

Liver lovers, heads up! They take you seriously here

Nosh, the new downtown deli, wants us to get serious about liver

"What am I, chopped liver?" This is Jennifer, standing with her hands flung out sideways. Then she relaxes. "Everybody says that, when they see it on the menu." Chopped liver sandwich is part of a ...

Rico suave pork torta

Between Mexican Fiesta and Stone, Ed is in danger.

"Things have been pretty horrible in the Congo for decades. So, their coffee is in this beer.”

Ballast Point successfully tweaks Little Italy menu

Local brewing titan gives us a menu the kitchen can actually deliver on.

Selective and careful tinkering of the menu at this massive tasting room has made the food offerings from the local brewer a better match for the atmosphere and style of the cavernous beer hall. Prices run on the steep side considering the small portions, but the food has been dialed in to the point where (instead of making a poorly thought-out bid for sophistication) it makes the best out of being honest bar snacks, burgers, and sandwiches.

Mmm, great tentacles

Octopus is king at Davanti Enoteca

Davanti Enoteca is not a good place to go if you’re looking for a quick meal. I’m sure if you told the waiter you were in a hurry, they’d accommodate you, but the charms of ...

Jim’s got Jimbo’s number

When Jim Heath adopted the name “Reverend Horton Heat” in the ’80s, he didn’t have high hopes for his particular brand of “rock and roll influenced by mid-century American music, especially rockabilly.” “When you’re in ...

Urban hiking in Maple Canyon

A hidden canyon trail in the heart of the city.

Like much of California’s coast, San Diego’s topography is unique. Mountains in the east give way to plateaus, which in turn give way to labyrinths of canyons that eventually find their way into the ocean. ...

Elephants in the room

“After splitting ways with our old label,” says Hills Like Elephants frontman Sean Davenport, “we were told, even though it was them saying they didn’t want to work with us, that we were ‘in breech ...

Shino Sushi + Kappo is a true sleeper

Fine dining hidden in Little Italy without glitz or glamor

Rumors of Shino Sushi + Kappo have percolated up through the usual channels. People say that chef Robert Nakamura —brother of Hane Sushi’s Roger Nakamura — produces elegant and indulgent sushi, having learned a trick ...

Al fresco brunch at Queenstown Public House

New Zealand-themed restaurant brings variety to Little Italy

On lazy, warm weekend mornings, my man and I skip our usual breakfast at home (Greek honey yogurt, almonds, bananas and blueberries), and venture outside to find a relaxing patio and an energizing crowd of ...

Craft/science

After four EPs and three full-lengths, the Dum Dum Girls, masterminded by Dee Dee Penny (née onetime San Diego resident and Grand Ole Party drummer Kristin Welchez, aka Kristin Gundred), seems poised to go ubiquitous, ...

Meet Social Jack’s Craft Brewing Company

Upcoming Little Italy nanobrewery tribute to fallen friend, beer aficionado

So, this guy walks into a bar (University Heights’ Small Bar to be exact), orders a beer, and promptly has it snatched up by a young woman who takes a sip and correctly identifies its ...

Anthology to reopen

Back-door deal

Clarification from the editor We received a letter on March 19 from Mr. Berkson's law firm stating the following facts: Although our client Howard Berkson did at one time have an interest in India Street ...

New menu, new patio for Ballast Point Little Italy

Tasting room expands menu to include more substantial fare, opens patio to relieve mob mentality

The kitchen at Ballast Point’s Little Italy tasting room unveiled an updated menu last week to coincide with the opening of a monstrous (as-yet-undecorated) patio. It’s not a total replacement of the former menu, but ...

Kick out the jams

The Casbah is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month with a slate of local-centric reunions and all-star jams, and it’s hard to pick just one night worth showcasing. For my money, the January 17 Penetrators ...

San Diego Cellars open in Little Italy

A winery in the heart of the city? That's the idea!

While not wholly unique, the concept behind San Diego Cellars is fun. The novelty lies in putting a fully functional winery, kitchen, and tasting room within the confines of the city, rather than exiling winemaking ...

Terraplane Sun doesn't need to show off

If the ’60s taught us anything, it is this: exactly how a rock and roll band should look. As a quintet, Terraplane Sun, which lists Venice Beach as their hometown, surely agree. Pick any British ...

2013’s Most Anticipated Projects

Did new brewery venues live up to the hype?

One of the biggest parts of my job as a beer journalist is keeping up on work-in-progress brewing companies looking to come online throughout the county. The current number of upcoming breweries I’m monitoring is ...

Heffern’s redemption

Interview with Gary Heffern, former frontman for the Penetrators.

2013’s Fastest-Growing Brewing Companies

There was no shortage of evolution this year

The number of brewing companies opening around the county in 2013 was unmatched, and so too was the number of new facilities opened by existing brewing companies. The following is a list of the most ...

Waterfront bar customers demand beer

In celebration of 80 Years since Prohibition’s repeal

While the rest of the United States may be up in arms over the Second Amendment or argumentative about the First Amendment, the amendment that is of most concern to the owners and patrons of ...

Kelvin’s Cool Waters

Kelvin’s bartender Jeremy LaFave is helping to liberate palates burnt out on high-juice, high-fructose content of the typical tropical drink. According to LaFave, Kelvin’s Cool Waters is the inspired concoction of mixologist Charlotte Boffey, which ...

Yoga disparaged

The girl can’t help it — she doesn’t like yoga

Title: Towel Required Address: towelrequired.com Author: Cori Holstedt From: Little Italy Blogging since: April 2013 Post Date: September 10, 2013 If workouts could be as trendy as denim-on-denim was in the ’80s, then yoga would ...

Ballast Point building new brewery

The latest and largest link in BP’s rapidly expanding chain

I told of its coming many moons ago. I’ve known of the location for over a month, but kept it under my hat. Now, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is ready to disclose the location ...

Little Italy: Don't knock the gnocchi

Ed discovers that LI's latest arrival delivers on more than just beer

I'd heard Ballast Point was open. (See Brandon Hernández' extensive pre-opening report.) Loved the idea that this bunch of guys who started as a home brew outfit in a tiny uncool strip-mall got voted small ...

Prepkitchen Little Italy's Dutch Hammer

While Southern California’s live oaks and palms show little of the colors that ignite the landscape of such northern neighbors as Washington and Oregon, San Diego bartender Adam Lockridge honors the harvest season by changing ...

The Fussy Fork

Does anything scream summer like fresh corn?

A blogger eats her way through San Diego in search of vegan restaurants.

Advance Copy: Ballast Point's Menu

The menu from brewery’s upcoming Little Italy venue

Earlier this month, I dished details about Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits’ upcoming combo research and development brewery, taproom, eatery, and beer garden in Little Italy. Today, I’m dishing on the dishes that the restaurant ...

Early Look: Ballast Point in Little Italy

Bursting-at-the-seams company’s new brewery-restaurant

For the better part of its existence, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits epitomized slow craft brewing company growth. Owner Jack White and long-time head brewer Yuseff Cherney seemed content to let Karl Strauss and Stone ...

Another One Bites the Dust

Treadmill roadkill

A gym-goer expresses her phobia of falling off the treadmill and is astounded that somebody would bring a bottle of vodka to drink from before their workout.

Towel Required

So, you think you can Zumba?

So, you think you can Zumba? A blogger does, and she writes about her failure.

Vinyl addiction

Former M Theory record store founder Eric Howarth thins his record collection while at the same time staging “Vinyl Junkies” record swaps.

Ballast Point expanding to Little Italy

Local brewing company going big by going small in niche metro community.

Little Italy Art Royalty

When I rolled into my parking space in Little Italy yesterday, I spotted this guy standing outside: "I think you'll be surprised when you figure out who I am. You should Google me," he said. ...

The appeal of 98 Bottles

Taking their name from a twist on the drawn-out folk song (the 99th bottle presumably being the one in your hand), 98 Bottles lends its own flourishes to the bottle-shop/beer-lounge arrangement that is on the ...

Pardon our dust

Little Italy venue Anthology to close in 2013 for repairs and renovations

Time to jam

Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos did his last Wednesday-night gig at El Camino bar/restaurant on October 31.

Accessible Gourmet Fare

Mid-range restaurants, gastropubs, and shops taking things to the next level.

Nowadays, I spend much of my time eating in restaurants or locked up in my office documenting those experiences. But before I wrote my first word about food, most of my time was spent in ...

More Than the Dish or the Deal

Restaurants you can take to heart.

There are some places that you kinda take to heart. They’re more than the dish or the deal. Something clicks about the people and the place, and you want to come back and be a part of it. These are just some.

When Not in Rome

Napizza arrives from Rome. “Slow is our thing. With yeast, more time equals more flavor.”

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